Fun Fun Fun Fest brings indie world to concert-goers

Francisco Marin

Now in its fifth year, Fun Fun Fun Fest has grown from a collection of overlooked indie artists and local vendors into one of the most progressive festivals in the nation. Fun Fun Fun Fest prides itself on knowing what’s cool in the world of independent music before it becomes mainstream, providing entertainment in hip-hop, punk rock, indie pop and even stand-up comedy. With three nights and two days worth of music, comedy and local goods, Fun Fun Fun Fest is sure to be a blast this year with such eclectic offerings.

Top four bands to see at Fun Fun Fun Fest

Sunday, 8:45 p.m.
Blue Stage
Alain Macklovitch has been on the DJ scene since the mid-1990s, when he won the DMC World DJ Championship at the age of 15. The brother of Dave Macklovitch of the band Chromeo, A-Trak rose to prominence as Kanye West’s personal tour DJ, producing for like-minded artists Kid Sister, Boys Noize and MSTRKRFT. Expect nothing less than a rap-electro dance party when he takes the stage.

Toro y Moi
Sunday, 2:55 p.m.
Red Stage
Toro y Moi’s Chaz Bundick almost single-handedly pioneered the chillwave genre with his brand of soulful, dreamy bedroom pop. It makes sense that fellow chillwave artist Washed Out is also playing at Fun Fest later the same afternoon. But lately, Bundick has taken to more straight-ahead indie pop with his latest single “Leave Everywhere.” Either way, fans should expect to see a different side of Toro y Moi’s music; for the first tour ever, Bundick will not be a one-man band and will instead be bolstered by the addition of a bassist and drummer.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Saturday, 4:15 p.m.
Red Stage
Reviews of Ariel Pink shows in the last five years have varied wildly — people often come away feeling angry, ecstatic or just plain confused. That’s because in the past, Ariel Pink was satisfied with plugging in an iPod full of pre-recorded music and singing along with it like it was bad karaoke. Fortunately, Pink has shaped up since then and in 2008 formed Haunted Graffiti, which includes members from bands Nite Jewel and Lilys. This June, he released his album Before Today, a collection of 12 experimental-pop jams that toe the line between mirth and melancholy.

Sunday, 8:45 p.m.
Red Stage
The year was 1980, when punk was undergoing the beginning stages of a punk revival. Bad Religion, who are also playing at Fun Fest this year, had been on the scene for a couple of years and 17-year-old Milo Aukerman, who would become lead singer, had just joined Descendents at the urging of drummer Bill Stevenson. What the Descendents did over the next three decades revolutionized the world of punk music, adding unheard-of melodic sonic artistry in a previously “ugly” subgenre of rock ‘n’ roll and influencing legions of punk-pop bands that came afterward, such as Pennywise, Green Day and early Blink-182. Descendents have once again come together after a hiatus to play at Fun Fest this year, the only U.S. show this year. It would be folly to miss it.